Monthly Archives: February 2009

Grateful

I have been feeling a lot of gratitude lately. I think some of the hurt is less intense and so I am able to see things more clearly.

Things I have noted lately that I am feeling grateful for:

My husband…The love of my life, father of my kids, my best friend. I am truly lucky to have him. I can’t really put into words what he means to me. He is everything I ever wanted in a spouse, plus so many other things I never knew I wanted.

My House…especially when it is clean…We’ve made a few improvements in the last few years that have made it a more pleasant place to be. More than that, it is more than adequate to house my family. We have a low mortgage payment and a quiet cul-de-sac neighborhood. Sure, sometimes when I am in a newer, nicer, bigger house I have tinges of envy, but mostly I am just so grateful to be able to live in my house. I recently took care of some children for a day while their mom worked. They made comment after comment about how TINY my house and yard are! They really were amazed at my tiny house. I have been to their house and it is beautiful and big. So, I guess my 2400 sq ft house seems tiny to them. I kept my lips zipped but the truth is that we could have their big fancy house if I had a (paying) job. Which would they pick, their big house or their mom home with them full time? Which brings me to….

My Job, or lack of paying job anyway…I can stay home and raise my kids. I can go to the zoo on a beautiful winter Tuesday afternoon. I can spend time planning and cooking meals..not rushing to throw anything on the table. I can sit in the library on a Friday afternoon blogging while my three year old plays happily at a friend’s house with her best friends. Of course I couldn’t have this job without #1 on my list, my husband, who provides for us. It took a while for me to come to enjoy staying at home. I hated it for a while. I learned that in order to be happy as a stay-at-home mom I had to have scheduled time without my kids as well.

My children are of course something I am grateful for almost every moment of the day! There are many, many more things. It is just that these three things I have been feeling particularly grateful for lately.

Zoo

Lauren and I headed to the zoo today. It was in the mid-60s and sunny with no wind. Those of you not in Colorado might not realize how warm that feels – but the sun is so strong here. We were hot in short sleeves. It was glorious!







Check out the newborn (edited to add…5 days old!) orangutan nursing – look carefully in all the hair to see it.

Healing

I read the website of a cancer child. He recently relapsed. His mother says she was told by God that he will be healed and have a long and fruitful life. She is expecting healing any day now, despite much worsening symptoms and clinical proof of the advancing cancer.

I can’t help but to wonder what happens to their faith if he is not healed. From reading the website I see they have very strong faith.

I don’t know, it seems almost arrogant and convenient to me to assume God will cure HER child. Surely she knows how many children die of cancer. However, God came and spoke to her and told her hers would be saved?

I don’t understand it and I am afraid for them if he dies.
I hope the healing happens though.

p.s. I just finished watching “Prince of Egypt” with the girls. Plenty of miracles there…

Schooling

So – many of you have already been through this. Some of you may be teachers. Hopefully you can give me some insight.

I can now see one reason to homeschool, but I will NEVER* do it!

I help out in Julia’s first grade class once a week. Normally I help with reading. I have been absolutely shocked by the wide range of abilities in reading. There are a few kids who read at a high level – can read any word, any book pretty much. There are far more kids who still cannot read three letter sight words. Julia’s teacher has a parent come in for reading most every day. I can’t imagine if she didn’t. There is no way she could have any kind of group lesson with the range of ability. I have felt comforted that there are 4 reading groups and parent help. Plus the excellent readers get pulled out twice a week for the talented and gifted program and work on reading comprehension.

Yesterday I was asked to do a pretest on telling time and recognizing/counting money. Once again, I was shocked by the difference in abilities. There were plenty of kids who did not know the names of the various coins, let alone their value. Then, there were about 4-5 kids who knew all the coins, could add them up and could tell all the times. One of them looked so surprised at the worksheet and asked me why one earth were they being tested on this, surely all the kids knew it! I had to tell him that actually, no, they don’t all know it!

So, now I am trying to imagine this next math module. How do you teach the kids who don’t know what a penny is and also teach the kids who can look at 6 quarters and tell you after a few seconds that they add up to $1.50?

*I am a believer in public schools, and like I said before I would never homeschool for many many reasons most of which have to do with the various personalities in my family. I am not against homeschooling, just not for me.

So – where does that leave Julia? She is in the top group of kids and I just don’t know how she isn’t bored out of her mind. On the other hand, she LOVES doing well and I am sure she is thrilled to have such easy work and do so well at it. Some challenges would be good for her though.

She actually doesn’t have homework. She did for about three weeks and then it stopped and I don’t know why. Maybe it is time for homework provided by me….I’m not sure where to start on that but I just don’t know.

I am not the type who is worried about Julia being some great success in life. I don’t care what kind of college she goes to. In fact, I don’t care if she goes to college as long as she is pursuing a career that she can support herself with and that makes her happy.

However, while in school, I still want her to at least have the opportunity to achieve and learn to the level she is able. I just don’t know.

I am hoping that as they go up in grades, perhaps the gulf narrows? I have no clue – maybe some of you can clue me in.

Perspective

Warning ranting about stuff that really isn’t my business!

I still read blogs of neuroblastoma patients we knew from way back. Recently one child was inpatient from spiking a fever while her counts were low. Most hospitals require the counts climb back up before the patient is released, even if there are no more fevers. This results in time spent in-patient when the patient doesn’t really feel sick. It’s frustrating, no doubt. I’ve been there.

However, my tolerance is low now for listening to parents whine and whine about hospital stays. They have their child with them. In fact, they have lots of time to spend with the child. It isn’t a life-threatening hospital stay. Yes, there are more fun thing they and their child could be doing. I wish I could shake them and say, “Yes, this really sucks, but you can’t do anything about it, so why not try to make the best of your time with your child. Surely your attitude is rubbing off on them”

Nathan’s 6 weeks in the hospital in the fall of 2006 sucked and I am sure I whined plenty. A big part of that was that not very far into the stay we knew that Nathan was terminal, looking at his last Christmas and trying to figure out how to get sprung to be all together as a family in Colorado for that last Christmas. Oh, and that I had a baby I was nursing but couldn’t bring into his room, and a four year old sister who couldn’t see him either. Luke and I only saw each other in passing. Somehow I think I deserved a little whining over that.

This particular family had no other young children at home. They were free to have all their family members visiting at the hospital. Make the best of it; time could be limited, do they really want to spend it whining and looking ahead instead of what is right in front of them?

I know I shouldn’t judge – but I am judging. Feel free to ignore this rant. My perspective is skewed, even if I think it is right!

Nathan’s Network

This year, once again, our friends are shaving their heads in honor of Nathan. St. Baldricks provides grants to researchers to help find a cure for cancer. This is no abstract idea – our good friend, Beth, is one such resarcher who recently received a grant from St. Baldricks for her study of medullablastoma. Her husband, Carlos, will be a first time shavee. Several team members will be shaving for the second or third time. Edited to add from the comments: James B, in Nathan’s Netowrk is the 14 year old son of a good friend of ours who is shaving for the first time as well. Thanks James!

So, if you are able, please go visit Nathan’s Network, and help support the race to find a cure for childhood cancer.

An oldie

I was looking at old photos to see some where Julia was the same age Lauren is now.  I came across this one.  This was Easter 2005.  So sweet!